A television campaign explaining to motorists how to treat horses on the road will be launched in May

A British Horse Society’s television campaign to make motorists more aware of horses and riders on the road will be broadcast around the country later this year.

The commercials, which have been made by the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR) in response to requests by the BHS, are being made available to TV stations to use “at their discretion”.

They follow a series of radio commercials which have already been circulated.

A spokesperson for the DTLR said: “Horseriders are vulnerable road-users. It is important that drivers recognise the care they must take around horses to avoid accidents.

“They can be unpredictable and become scared easily – drivers must be aware of that.”

Sheila Hardy, BHS head of safety, said: “This is a real breakthrough. Both radio and television are very powerful media and this is a real opportunity to explain to motorists. With understanding comes consideration.

“Once drivers begin to understand that trying to squeeze past a horse at speed in the face of oncoming traffic is endangering the life of the rider, and indeed themselves, we will begin to see a reduction in the number of accidents.”

There are more than 3,000 road accidents involving horses every year.

A survey by Horse & Hound magazine last summer revealed that one in seven riders had been involved in an accident in the past five years and one in three had suffered a near miss.

  • Click here to read why a motorists’ road safety organisation has criticised the highway code for offering drivers “insufficient guidance” on passing horses on the road.
  • Click here to read to read about a driver who was fined £750 for reversing into a racehorse during a road rage incident.